What is judicial precedent?

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             What is judicial precedent? What are the main principles that are applied in judicial precedent? Are the different court structure being bound by the decision of others higher courts? To what extend binding precedent ensures the existence of both certainty and flexibility in common law? What are the other advantages and disadvantages that contribute to the doctrine of binding precedent?

               The doctrine of binding precedent or stare decisis, refers to the fact that, the decision of a higher court will be binding on a court lower than its hierachy. Judicial precedent can be applied on cases and to be treated similiarly when the material facts of the cases are identical.

               There are two main principles that are involved in judicial precedent, there are ratio decidendi and the obiter dictum. Ratio decidendi is a principle of law on which the court reaches its decision. The ratio decidendi of a case may be understood as the statement of the law applied in deciding the legal problem raised by the concrete facts of the case. The ratio of a case is binding on lower courts but may not be cited as persuasive authority in later cases.

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               The second principle is the obiter dictum. It is a statement made by the judge that is not an essential part of the ratio decidendi. It is most referred that something said by the way. Obiter dicta a statements do not form part of the binding precedent, but they are persuasive authority and can be taken into consideration in later cases, if the later case consider it is appropriate to do so.

               Through judicial precedent, lower courts are bound by the decisions of higher ...

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A brief, but well written account on what has been covered. Important parts of the system of precedent - the hierarchy of the courts and law reporting have received little mention. As commented several times, the piece could be improved by using decided cases to support the points made. Rating ***